Colorado; Texas’ Playground Part 2
I promised more from Colorado, thus…
Tuesday, July 25
We hiked out of Maroon Bells Wilderness area, taking shots the whole way down. After a stop in Aspen to see about professional roll film or sheet film, terms which dumbfounded the Wolf Camera rep, and a quality buffalo burger, we headed back up to or original campsite next to Mt. Princeton from a few nights earler.
Wednesday, July 26
We did some more off-roading today. This was probably the most harsh treatment the truck got during the week. We stopped at any and all old mining cabins and towns, including this one near Hancock:
Thursday, July 27
More off-roading today. We drove up the Mt. Princeton trail, accidentally driving through Young Life’s world headquarters on the way. Man, do they have some nice facilities up there. Wow. This wasn’t the toughest off-roading of the week, but certainly the narrowest. We had to pass a Suburban on the way up. Eeks.
Part of the reason we went up there was because of the name. Near the top of Mt. Princeton, there was labeled a place called the USFS Bristlecone Chalet. Keith was unaware of any bristlecone pines growing in Colorado, but is quite fond of their beauty. So we headed up, and sure enough, passed through many groves of such pines. He’s right, they are photogenic.
After this, we drove to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, about two hours South of Buena Vista.
I climbed up to the top of the tall dune, an 800′ 1.2 mile torturous hike over soft sand. On the way up, it rained. After I got to the top, the wind howled. Perfect conditions for expensive camera gear, eh? I stuck it out for a while, not really expecting the sunlight to do anything spectacular, even though I was still very satisfied just being there taking in the view. Man, am I glad I did! The sun dipped below the clouds, and gave us the most spectacular sunset I have ever seen in my life. I am not kidding. This was one of those sunsets that lights up the clouds 360°. I was in awe…and in the wrong place for photos. GRRR! So, I enjoyed it. I have a few that capture some of that special scene, but you’ll have to mosey over the the photoblog to see them.
Friday, July 28
Woke up at 0-dark-thirty and headed for the dunes, tripods and all. The light was pretty flat all morning, but we managed to get creative and capture a few good scenes. I, however, forgot my film. You’d think toward the end of the trip, I’d have my film and camera skillz back, but noooo. Anyway…
We headed down to Lubbock for the night.
Saturday, July 29
Drive home. I must say, this was a very satisfying trip. Overall very relaxing, with just the right amount of physical strain with the backpacking, and sand-dune climbing. I did realize one very important thing, however. I truly missed The Wife. I wanted to share the sunset with her. I wanted to keep her warm in her sleeping bag. I wanted to awaken to her lovely visage. Next time, she’s coming.